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No going back on ‘Okada’, ‘Keke’ ban in Lagos –Sanwo-Olu

Sanwo-Olu: 'There is no going back on Okada, Keke ban'

* Insists no compromise on security and safety of Lagosians

Isola Moses

Perchance putting paid to insinuations in certain quarters, that the state government may review and re-consider its latest sweeping ban on motorcycles and tricycles operations in designated routes and bridges across the metropolis, the Lagos State Government (LASG) says it will not reverse the ongoing enforcement of its Transport Sector Reform Law of 2018.

The restriction outlaws the operations of commercial motorcycles, popularly known as ‘Okada’ and tricycles, popularly known as ‘Keke NAPEP’ in 15 local councils across the state.

Channels TV reports Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said this Tuesday, February 4 while speaking at the official launch of commercial operations in water transportation by Lagos Ferry Services (LAGFERRY), at Badore Ferry Terminal, Ajah, Lagos State.

Sanwo-Olu said the state government would not give in to the “blackmail and uninformed criticisms” of its decision to restrict tricycles and motorcycles on the highways.

The enforcement became necessary in the face of growing threats to the security of lives of residents, he stated.

According to the Governor, the scary figures of accidents resulting from Okada riders’ recklessness and the disobedience to traffic laws necessitated the enforcement of the laws.

Although the governor admitted that the decision was a tough one, he maintained that his government would not compromise on the issue of security and safety of residents.

“I agree it’s a tough decision we made regarding the restriction of Okada and Keke in some parts of Lagos. But I want to say some facts, which people can debate.

“The restriction that we have done is primarily based on security and safety of lives of residents.

“We took the decision based on the level of danger we have seen to have happened to our people,” he said.

He said that as a responsible government, “we will not fold our arms and allow Okada riders put our lives in danger.

“One life is more important to us than all the economic benefits to be made if we allowed them to continue.

“We understand that investment too can be critical, but keeping people alive and safe is more germane.”

Sanwo-Olu, however, sympathised with commuters affected by the Okada restriction, and announced that the government would be deploying over 500 buses to the routes listed in the restriction directive as alternatives to ease movement.

The launching of commercial operations on waterways by LAGFERRY was another programme introduced by the government to address congestion on the highways, he stated.

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